The irreplaceable Sally Wiley |

The irreplaceable Sally Wiley

by Anita Kornoff
Gold Star Mom Sally Wiley attends a banquet. She has been a commissioner for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services for 10 years.
Special to The R-C

Sally Wiley has chaired the Sierra Nevada Republican Women’s Caring for America Committee for 10 years. As her term concludes this December, they are looking for another member to take over chairing the committee.

According to SNRW President Mary Porter, “In truth, Sally really cannot actually be replaced. She has done a magnificent job.”

In 2009, Wiley’s son Staff Sgt. Sean D. Diamond was killed in Iraq and she became an American Gold Star Mother. This tragedy understandably changed her life forever, but she has managed to direct her grief into the positive aspects of helping others show appreciation and love for our deployed military troops in all branches of the service.

Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Sally as a commissioner for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services the same year Sean was killed. She was reappointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval and has served in this position for a total of 10 years.

Sally is also a board member for Welcome all Veterans Everywhere, based in the Carson Valley, a Greeter and Eucharist Minister at St. Gall’s Catholic Church in Gardnerville, and Program Director for Carson Valley Sertoma (Service to Mankind) Club. Additionally, she works with and has flown on Honor Flights for many years and is on their Gold Star Family’s Memorial Committee.

Wiley says her heartbreak in losing Sean, and the support of her wonderful husband, Michael helped her channel her energy into something good. They started putting together Troop Care Packages in their garage for those still serving, and have continued to do so for 10 years this year.

“The generosity of Nevadans has allowed us to continue to be able to support this mission,” says Wiley. “We’ve received snacks, supplies, and cash to purchase necessary items from a number of organizations in addition to SNRW for this project.”

Wiley is principally responsible for having seen to it that our deployed troops continually receive touches of home and reminders that we care.

This year, Wiley and her group of volunteers, backed by the generosity of the community, reported a total of 148 boxes have been shipped to troops overseas, with a total of 40, “4th of July themed” boxes just completed and mailed in June. Happily, although Sally’s term as Caring for America chairperson is ending, she will continue to be involved preparing packages for the troops. If you are interested in helping or donating items for the boxes please contact Wiley at or call her at 790-3031. The next mailing goes out Aug. 30.

Contact Anita Kornoff at